Re: near-death experiences-scientific?

Garry DeWeese (
Tue, 28 Apr 1998 10:09:34 -0600

Hi Wendee,

At 08:04 AM 4/28/1998 -0500, Wendee HOLTCAMP wrote:

>I have a few questions for you all. What do the various sundry of you out
>there believe about the validity of near-death experiences? Has anyone on
>the list experienced one or know a close family member of friend who has?
>Feel free to contact me privately if you'd prefer. I have been researching
>them on the net merely out of curiousity and interest, and am struck by the
>similarity of nearly every NDE-er seeing bright light and often a "mosaic"
>or kaleidoscope of colors.

I've never had nor had any close family/friends who have had such an
experience. Perhaps my skepticism would be diminished if that had been the

Carl Sagan offers an intriguing (and fun) explanation in _Broca's Brain_.
He notes the following common aspects of NDEs: sense of floating, movement
down a dark tunnel towards a brilliant light; some all-powerful figure
dressed in white. Then he suggests that we have reports of people
inmoments of terror who "see their whole life pass before their eyes." He
asks what would be almost our earliest memories, and answers, our memory of
floating in the womb, moving down the birth canal, and being delivered into
the hands of the obstetrician.

Since I agree with Chuck Vandergraff's relpy that not all will meet Christ
in conditions of bliss, I'm attracted by Sagan's thesis as a way to explain
the commonalities of NDEs.

(Perhaps someone could do a study to compare NDEs of those born vaginally
with those born by C-section to see if there is any significant difference;
this might disconfirm the Sagan hypothesis?)

Garry DeWeese